Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell gave an idea on how the Texas Longhorns, his alma mater, could return to national prominence — and it begins with the quarterback.
Campbell, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1977, told the Austin American-Statesman on Tuesday that he believes Texas needs a black quarterback to be great again. Campbell stressed that he doesn’t mean any ill-will toward Sam Ehlinger, who is white.
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Earl Campbell won the Heisman Trophy with the Texas Longhorns before joining the Houston Oilers. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
“Until the University of Texas realizes you have to have a black quarterback, and nothing against Ehlinger, you got to have a talented, black quarterback,” Campbell told the Austin American-Statesman. “All these schools that are winning, even in the pros, have black quarterbacks. When guys are not open, something can still happen.”
Campbell specifically pointed out Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama as examples, though Tagovailoa is Samoan-American. He also used former Texas quarterback Vince Young and former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett to underscore his point.
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“He reminds me of myself,” Campbell said of Hurts. “He’s a calm individual. He doesn’t get too excited and keeps it all inside. Nick Saban did all he could to kill his motivation. Jalen is one of the most classy individuals I’ve ever seen play sports. It looks like Oklahoma is going to win the Heisman a third year in a row. It looks like he’s not even running, like he’s walking.”
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) throws a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.
Ehlinger, a junior, has 2,387 passing yards and 23 touchdown passes in eight games this season. Texas is 5-3 this year. The Ehlinger-led Longhorns defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl last season with Ehlinger as the starting quarterback. It was their first bowl win since 2012.
With Campbell’s comments in consideration, skin color doesn’t factor into any players’ ability to perform at athletics or in any other aspect of life.
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For what it’s worth, Joe Burrow – who is white – has the LSU Tigers on top of the college football world at this moment. Tagovailoa, Hurts, Trevor Lawrence, Deshaun Watson, Kelly Bryant, Jameis Winston, A.J. McCarron, Cam Newton and Greg McElroy have all been quarterbacks of recent national championship teams.